PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – As the fentanyl crisis spreads across the United States, an Oregon doctor shared more about the state’s rise in fentanyl overdose deaths and how naloxone can stop it.
Substance use disorder specialist, Dr. Bradley Buchheit of Oregon Health & Science University, described concerns of fentanyl use among adolescents.
“In adolescents, it is normal for people to try different things, right? Try different foods, try different careers, see what they like,” Buchheit explains. “Part of that, occasionally for some people, is trying substances.”
While the United States has been dealing with an opioid crisis, Buchheit says “the difference with fentanyl being in the drug supply is you could try something once and it could be the last thing that you do.”
Describing fentanyl’s impact on the body, Buchheit explains “fentanyl is a full agonist opioid, which is medical jargon for when it binds to the opioid receptors in your brain – specifically the Mu opioid receptor, there’s a number of different opioid receptors but that’s the one that can really trigger respiratory depression and is also the same receptor that can cause euphoria and treat pain—when it binds to that receptor, it activates it.”